Photo shows (left to right) Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan, DAPh Events Committee Bing Gelman, DAPh former Chair John Boyd, DAPh Member Jon Sachs, DAPh Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator Brian Borlongan, DAPh former Vice-Chair Gene Boggs, DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan, DAPh Makati Ward and former Secretary Omar Tiwana, DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo Goode, and DAPh Photographer Joan Corpuz.
We followed up discussion from the previous April 6, 2019 meeting; reported on the Tax Seminar, Memorial Day Commemoration, and the 2019 Global Meeting; and discussed our 2020 Strategy--the first primary is on February 3, 2020 and the global primary is March 3-10, 2020.
We also shared that the Election Assistance Commission 2018 survey report findings note the rate of total ballot return by civilian voters abroad went up 300% from 2014 in 2018. Knowing Democrats Abroad figures, that suggests that Democrats Abroad directly helped nearly 50% of those voters! Further details will be sent out after a more in-depth dive into the numbers, but let's all take a moment to congratulate and thank each other for a job really well done. Many many kudos to each and every one of you.
Minutes of the July 6, 2019 meeting will be available here.
After the meeting, we celebrated July 4th Independence Day organized by the Elks Club.
And together with July 4th, we celebrated Juneteenth. Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of our commitment to make it real. Also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, it’s an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states. This year is the 154th anniversary. Read the Emancipation Proclamation about the importance of freedom for all people, especially in these times, here. You can find a playlist and more information about Juneteenth celebration, here.
Our next activities will be the Second 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Watch on (1) Wednesday July 31 and (2) Thursday August 1, 2019 from 9-11am at Union Jack Tavern, 105 VA Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City. There is no fee to attend (self-paid à la carte menu). All you need is a keen interest in the Democratic candidates’ political platforms and sharing your views with other members of DA Philippines. Come and go as you like on Wednesday and Thursday from 9-11am. This is an informal get-together, so no need to RSVP.
The next general meeting is on Saturday October 26, 2019 from 3:30-5:30pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.
Article by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan, edited by DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan for consistency and DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo Goode for formatting. Attendees included: DAPh Chair Lisa, DAPh Communications Manager Morrie and his partner, GOTV Coordinator Brian, DAPh former Chair John Boyd, and DAPh Member Elian Habayeb and his partner.
Which one of the 20 Democratic presidential candidates will stand out in the primary debates and eventually go on to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election?
DAPh members, partners and friends watched the First 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate on Thursday and Friday June 27 and 28, 2019 from 9-11am at Union Jack Tavern, 105 VA Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City. 20 Democratic contenders hotly vied for the coveted nomination. So much talent--and only one nomination!
We also shared among ourselves our interests in and views about the Democratic candidates’ political platforms.
And please mark your calendars for Saturday August 10, 2019 from 6-9pm when we will have a potluck dinner and our own primary mock debate. A few of our members will represent their favorite candidates to have some fun and learn more about some of the front-runners. So start thinking about which candidate you’d like to represent if you’d like to participate! One member already has dibs on Elizabeth Warren and another Kamala Harris!
Article shared by Democrats Abroad Philippines Member Frank Holz, “sent to [him] by a friend, that encapsulates the man we must beat in 2020 (June 24, 2019)."
Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"
Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:
"A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
'My God… what… have… I… created?'"
Article by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan. Photo by DPGK Photography Dale Pagkalinawan shows DAPh members (left to right) John Stephany, Bing Gelman, Kathryn Carpenter-Perlas, Lisa Pagkalinawan (Chair), Morrie, Brian Borlongan (Get Out The Vote Coordinator), and Stephen L. Tyler laying a Memorial Day commemorative wreath. More photos by Stephen, here.
To honor the Americans and Filipinos who fell and went missing in World War II, members of DA Philippines donated a commemorative wreath and attended the Memorial Day ceremony on May 26, 2019. Thanks DA International Chair Julia Bryan for suggesting the wreath!
To raise money for the wreath, a few members independently placed a GoFundMe page on social media channels to see if their friends and other members would respond to their request. The page showed a panoramic view of the Manila American Cemetery as well as a historic photograph of Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines. The words read:
“In World War II, Douglas MacArthur promised the Philippines, 'I shall return!' He and America kept its word at the cost of more than 17,058 of its young men and women. These American and Filipino Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Doctors and Nurses, made the final sacrifice and have been laid to rest in the Manila American Cemetery. An additional 36,286 are still Missing In Action. Help us honor these souls on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, please give to our cause to fund a wreath for them. God bless all who sacrifice for freedom.”
Within days, DAPh members and friends answered the call of the GoFundMe page, gave generously to the cause, and the cost of the wreath was met. A handsome wreath was designed around lovely red Anthurium flowers.
DAPh Chair Lisa said, “The use of this modern application on social media, to fund an old tradition of honoring our fallen soldiers teaches us that where is a will – there is, indeed, a way. When the idea to purchase a wreath for the Memorial Day event was broached, one of the first questions that arose was, ‘How will our organization raise the money?’ A couple of enterprising members came forward and offered to independently create a fund-raising page using the free GoFundMe application, and if it worked, the proceeds would be donated to our cause. Our wreath is proof that generosity and goodwill still exist in the hearts of Americans. We thank you for your help. God bless.”
Photo by Ron Cogswell.
Democrats Abroad (DA) members from around the world attended the 2019 Global Meeting on May 17-19, 2019 in Washington DC, in person and online, to prepare for the 2020 Primary and General Elections.
Aside from regular DA business, the Global Meeting:
- Discussed charter amendments and resolutions
- Ran training sessions with local experts and DA field volunteers
- Conducted the biennial Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) executive committee elections (every other year)
- Held regional DA meetings alongside the Global Meeting to elect Regional Vice-Chairs (RVC), among others.
- Non-closure of the more than 20 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices outside the United States that process applications for visas, adoptions, green card abandonment, and more
- Transgender military and veterans
- Gun violence prevention
- Green new deal
- Renewable energy 2019.
The Global Meeting also hosted several talks with Democratic Party leaders, including elected officials and members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) leadership.
If DA members are interested in attending future Global Meetings, you may apply for the Travel Fund for some financial assistance.
If you are not yet a member of Democrats Abroad, you can become one by signing up at www.democratsabroad.org. Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines webpage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.
Photo by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Photographer Joan Corpuz shows (left to right) DAPh Vice-Chair and Database and Social Media Manager Angelo Goode, DAPh Treasurer Kathleen Bergeron, DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan, Speaker and Manrkē’s Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Medalla, and DAPh Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan.
DA Philippines held a Tax for Americans Abroad Seminar on Saturday April 13, 2019 from 3:30-5pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, with some 22 attendees.
Speaker Richard Medalla, Manrkē’s Asia Pacific CEO, explained who is required to file US income taxes, Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reports. He also presented common challenges facing Americans abroad in complying with US tax reporting requirements, and answered questions from the audience.
Event flier, here.
Speaker Richard’s presentation, here.
His company profile, here.
DA tax advocacy work, here.
Our next activity is Memorial Day organized by the American Association of the Philippines on Sunday May 26, 2019 at the Manila American Cemetery. Members please check your email, including Spam, Updates and Promotions folders for the official email blast with the announcement containing further information. We are contributing a wreath and would very much appreciate donations. Kindly email DAPh Communications Manager Morrie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a donation. Please donate--thank you!
We are also organizing a candidate education potluck, which is a social event. And if there is sufficient interest, a speaker event on the three historic Balangiga Bells, which were returned to the Philippines last year after being taken over a century ago. More to follow.
If you are not yet a member of Democrats Abroad, you can become one by signing up at www.democratsabroad.org. Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines webpage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.
Photo by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Admin Brian Borlongan shows (left to right) DAPh members Angela Reyes, Mary Ellen de Jesus, Yasmin Tiwana, Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan, DAPh former Vice-Chair Gene Boggs, DAPh former Secretary Omar Tiwana, DAPh former Treasurer Gay Zialcita, and DAPh Vice-Chair and Database and Social Media Manager Angelo Goode at the Elks Club in Makati City.
DA Philippines held its 2nd Quarter General Meeting on Saturday April 6, 2019 from 3:30-5:30pm at the Library of the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
We discussed DA International Chair Julia Bryan's report on 2018 wins; how to drive engagement, share expertise and prepare for 2020 through greater levels of participation; and having a candidate education event.
A Membership Management Committee was formed.
The next two events are:
- Tax for Americans Abroad Seminar on Saturday April 13, 2019 from 3:30-5pm at the Elks Club Manila Room. Here's the flier.
- Memorial Day on Monday May 27, 2019 at the Manila American Cemetery, organized by the American Association of the Philippines. We intend to contribute a wreath.
Here are the:
Photo by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Events Committee Bing Gelman shows (left to right) DAPh Secretary and Events Committee Chair Jeremy Slagle, DA Lion City (Singapore) former Vice-Chair and DAPh former Treasurer Bill Gelman, DAPh Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan, DAPh former Chair John Boyd, DAPh members Tricia Jimenez, Angela Reyes, DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan, and DAPh Vice-Chair and Database and Social Media Manager Angelo Goode at Launch Lab Test Kitchen in Makati City.
DA Philippines held a Progressive Drinking Party to clean up the database on Saturday February 2, 2019 from 2-4pm at Launch Lab Test Kitchen, Unit 201, 2nd Floor, Renaissance Building, 215 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
Thanks DAPh Events Committee Bing for the recommendation to have a Progressive Drinking Party, which is a concept borrowed from DA Lion City (Singapore) Chair Patricia Reed who is happy for other DA Country Committees to also hold their own Progressive Drinking Parties.
Thanks also to the volunteers for all your hard work and dedication--calling, emailing and texting some 329 DAPh members to verify they are still living in the Philippines by collecting their current landline and cell phone numbers.
And thanks DAPh Secretary and Events Committee Chair Jeremy for providing the space for us with light snacks.
Once all the corrections are inputted, we should organize another database clean-up event. And the Events Committee will be meeting, to be announced, to discuss events planning.
Photo by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) member Joan Corpuz shows (left to right) DAPh Vice-Chair and Database and Social Media Manager Angelo Goode, DAPh member Tricia Jimenez, DAPh former Chair John Boyd, DA Lion City (Singapore) former Vice-Chair and DAPh former Treasurer Bill Gelman, DAPh Events Committee Bing Gelman, and DAPh Secretary and Events Committee Chair Jeremy Slagle at the Elks Club in Makati City.
DAPh Secretary Jeremy chairs the Events Committee, composed of DAPh member Bing, DAPh Communications Manager Morrie Kayanan, and DAPh member Don Goertzen.
Database Clean-Up and By-Law Changes
DAPh Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan is presently point person for Database Clean-Up and By-Law Changes, but is happy for other members to contribute to these two important initiatives.
Memorial Day and Fourth of July Events 2019
DAPh Chair Lisa is also point person for our Memorial Day and Fourth of July 2019 events.
Phone Calls to Voters Worldwide
DAPh member Dean Shuey continues as point person for phone calls to voters worldwide.
Veterans Day at Clark and Thanksgiving Day Events 2019
And DAPh former Chair John B. continues as point person for Veterans Day at Clark and Thanksgiving Day 2019 events.
Dates of Next Meetings
Saturday February 2, 2019 at 2pm in Makati: Progressive Drinking Party
Saturday April 6, 2019 at 3:30pm in Makati: General Meeting Q2 2019
And because we decided to hold four general meetings for 2019 quarterly (Q), the next general meeting Q2 2019 is on Saturday April 6, 2019 at 3:30pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Makati City.
Announcements and further details of our next meetings and activities will follow, so members please check your email. If you are not yet a member of Democrats Abroad, you can become one by signing up at DemocratsAbroad.org. Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.
Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPh) Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan reports on activities held in 2018. Photo by DAPh member Joan Corpuz.
On September 8, 2018, we held a voter registration open house in which we helped four people register to vote.
On October 4, 2018, DAPh members were invited to a lunch-time talk and dinner featuring former Democratic senator from Virginia Jim Webb. A Vietnam War veteran, Webb was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, and he ran and won his Senate seat in 2008 as a moderate Democrat. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Counsel for the US House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and a Marine Corps officer. In the private sector, he has been an Emmy Award winning journalist, a filmmaker and the author of ten books. In addition, he taught literature at the US Naval Academy and was a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. The lunch talk was held during the Rotary Club of Manila’s monthly meeting at the New World Hotel and the dinner was a casual event at the Elks Club. During the lunch event, DAPh member Elian Habayeb asked a question during the open forum. And during the dinner, DAPh Chair Lisa talked with Jim about three issues DA is advocating:
- Residency-based taxation
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reform
- Medicare portability.
On October 6, 2018, we held a voters’ open house in Ortigas where we helped two people with registering and answering questions about voting. By phone and email, we received inquiries and assisted some five people.
On November 7, 2018, we had an election watch event at Union Jack Tavern in the morning and an evening reception at Farfalla Ristorante Italiano.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018, we visited American detainees at the Bicutan Immigration Detention Facility in Bicutan and brought them food, reading materials and other necessities. We did not participate in Memorial Day or Veterans Day events in 2018. But we have continued to provide support for a few incarcerated Americans, with DAPh former Chair John Boyd and DAPh member Dave Kuchenbecker making regular visits with logistical support from DAPh Chair Lisa. DAPh member Dave has made efforts to compile a list of detainees and offer assistance.
DAPh member and entertainment event planning company owner Tyrone Norwood and DAPh Chair Lisa want to put together a fundraiser mixer to give expats a chance to have some hometown fun.
2018 Phone Banking and Text Blasts
DAPh member Dean Shuey continued his exceptional efforts in Getting Out the Vote (GOTV) by calling Americans worldwide to encourage them to vote in important elections. Well done DAPh member Dean for being DA's number two GOTV caller!
DA sent out two text blasts to DAPh members before the election to offer support with registering and submitting their ballots. DAPh Chair Lisa received only two replies to the first text and some 20 replies to the second. She assisted several of the some 20 people by phone and email to request and return their ballots.
At the end of 2018, we had 930 members. However, only 596 or 62% are considered valid. To be considered "valid," members must meet the following conditions:
- Be approved as a member
- Have a local street address and/or local phone number
- Be verified as still living in the Philippines within the past four years.
2018 Social Media
On October 7, 2018, DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo Goode posted a short article with instructions on how to vote from abroad in the Philippines on DAPh's Facebook and Twitter accounts and his LinkedIn. The posts directed readers to DemocratsAbroad.org and VoteFromAbroad.org as DAPh member Dean recommended in order to increase traffic to the DA websites and give Americans the option of becoming DA members.
Like DA France, DA Canada and others, DAPh participated in the social media campaign to encourage overseas Americans to vote by re-posting announcements with overseas voting information per state such as registration, vote and return ballot deadlines, as well as reminders to follow up and confirm overseas votes were received and counted.
DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo also re-posted:
- News articles highlighting reasons why Americans should vote Democrat from CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, BBC, Guardian, Reuters and Associated Press for instance
- Graphics on: ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; health care; immigration; LGBT* rights; voter turnout; climate change; women's rights; Republican policies that caused the 2018 deficit such as Trump and Bush tax cuts, wars and base defense increases; the importance of Secretaries of State elections; and voter suppression; among others
- Videos explaining how easy it is to vote and why Americans should vote, and on the issue of guns
- The DA I Voted from Abroad meme in support of the meme going viral, and a couple of DA surveys on voting experience and GOTV Phone Banking.
DAPh former Treasurer Irene Sobrevinas posted on Facebook news articles, graphics, videos and other information on diversity, why I am a Democrat, anti-Trump sentiments, cooperative economics and US-Philippine relations and affairs for example.
DAPh member Joan updated the DAPh address on our Facebook page.
DAPh also gained a new member through Facebook, DAPh member Nancy Longatan. And on Facebook, DAPh former Treasurer Irene and DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo clarified DAPh's role toward the voting process for someone who had questions.
On Twitter, DAPh Twitter Account #1 @DemsAbroadPhils (unofficial DAPh Twitter account) has 143 Twitter followers and DAPh Twitter Account #2 @DemsAbroadPH (official DAPh Twitter account) has 20 Twitter followers. And on DAPh's official Twitter account (Account #2), DAPh Vice-Chair Angelo recommended to an Oregon voter that Oregonians in the Philippines get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to fully access their state website voting functions.